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Better cancer survival rates with national screening programs: AIHW


Morgan Liotta


14/09/2018 1:52:34 PM

A new AIHW reports reveals that people with breast, cervical and bowel cancers detected through national screening programs have better survival outcomes than those diagnosed but not screened.

The new AIHW report confirms the importance of national screening programs to reduce the risk of death from breast, cervical and bowel cancer.
The new AIHW report confirms the importance of national screening programs to reduce the risk of death from breast, cervical and bowel cancer.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s (AIHW) Analysis of cancer outcomes and screening behaviour of cancer screening programs in Australia is an Australia-first combination of data from the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, BreastScreen Australia, and the National Cervical Screening Program.
 
The report, which examines survival outcomes to better understand the benefits of screening, reveals that breast, cervical and bowel cancers detected in those who participated in screening programs were less likely to die from the cancer than those with non-screen-detected cancers.
 
The AIHW found that the risk of death for women diagnosed with breast cancer was 42% lower among those diagnosed through BreastScreen Australia than those who had never been screened. Nearly half (44%) of breast cancers diagnosed in 2002–12 were through BreastScreen Australia.
 
Out of almost 7000 cases of cervical cancer diagnosed in 2002–12, about 5% of diagnoses were through cervical screening, with those women having an 87% lower risk of dying from cervical cancer than those who had never had a Pap test.
 
The risk of dying from bowel cancer was 40% lower for people aged 50–69 who were diagnosed through the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program than for those diagnosed outside the program. About 11% of bowel cancers diagnosed in 2006–12 were diagnosed through the program.
 
The report also looks at people’s patterns of screening for cancer, including how receiving the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine affects participation in cervical screening. Participation in cervical screening was higher in HPV-vaccinated women than in unvaccinated women.
 
The study also shows that women who already participated in one screening program were more likely to participate in other programs for which they were eligible.
 
According to the AIHW, this indicates that if barriers to participation in one screening program can be broken, there is potential to improve participation across other programs, leading to more cancers detected through screening and an overall lower risk of death.



BreastScreen Australia cancer screening National Bowel Cancer Screening Program National Cervical Screening Program





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